19 February, 2009


RC4 is a stream cipher designed in RSA laboratories by Ron Rivest in 1987. This cipher is widely used in commercial applications including Oracle SQL, Microsoft Windows and the SSL. The algorithm was kept as a trade secret until the mid-1990's.

The external analysis of RC4 was invoked by the leakage of its source code in 1994 to cypherpunks mailing list.

The key stream generated by RC4 is a stream of pseudo-random bytes.

This is the first in a series of posts about cryptography/security.
I won't delve far too deep into details, but I'm very interested in the specific protocol algorithms used.

P.S.: RC4 is reputedly an acronym for "Ron's Code 4"

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